Episode #30 – Leveling the Church with Micah Fries
**After this episode was recorded Chattanooga TN, along with many other cities in the southeast were impacted by severe weather and tornados. Pray for the people impacted and the Church as they seek to minister grace and practical help**
The book grew out of my experience as a first time Pastor-the pain and the learning that came from me getting over the idea “that I could do everything better than anyone else.”
I realized that I had failed the church because I had not equipped the members of our church for ministry as Ephesians 4 speaks about.
Q: What were some of the barriers that caused you to not equip others for ministry?
Micah: the number one barrier was pride. I felt like everything had to be exactly the way I wanted it in order for us to succeed.
The Super Pastor is an idea we often rail against but also something that we end up doing ourselves, because we love the affirmation that comes from doing ministry well.
There is a dangerous idolatry that drives us to do ministry so that we receive the information from our efforts. That keeps us from equipping others.
Ministry is not our vocational responsibility, ministry is the collective familial responsibility of everyone in the body of Christ, the church.
Our vocational responsibility, the reason why we are paid, is to equip and develop leaders to do ministry.
The idea behind Leveling the Church is not destroying it but bringing all things to a level where everyone is doing ministry.
Think through this:
Global response: leading the entire church from the platform
Strategic Equipping: training the entire church to spread out and do ministry in the church.
When we equip the church for ministry, there is a cost to us, we get a lot less credit-which is good.
In our multi-site model we are intentional about having live preaching, local leadership, this forces us to equip people for ministry.
Q: How does the pastor of a normative sized church find leaders in which to invest?
Micah: Normally we look for character (which is good) but also for people who are really good at their job.
Here’s what I would look for as the Pastor of a normative sized church:
- Character-do they possess godly character.
- Who is the best developer of others-who can equip others to do ministry best.
Focus on finding leaders who can bring others along and train them and develop them and multiply themselves.
Q: What advice would you give on building out great ministry teams?
Micah: I’d do the following:
- Rethink how you spend your work hours. I’d read the article on church size by Tim Keller and learn how to adjust my time, focus on what is required for my church at its stage and size and then order my work around that.
- Develop relationships with others.
- Never do ministry alone-always take someone with you.
- Reprioritize your work-so that you can involve others in your work.
- Proximity trumps every-time. Just having people near you is the development plan.
On doing it yourself, delegating or developing others: I’m learning that there is very little that is actually my sole responsibility. Others can do what I do, so I am responsible for developing them.
The main question is this: What are the things that only I can exclusively do? The point is this, there is almost nothing that is solely your responsibility.
If you want to make this transition and adjust the way you lead understand this: leadership is by fractions and degrees-make small adjustments over time.
There has never been a better time to invite people into ministry than now-begin inviting them to engage and begin handing ministry to them.
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